I do not support the Iran nuclear deal. I preferred negotiations with Iran rather than using military force. I had hoped that an ironclad, verifiable deal could be reached to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
However, after reviewing the terms, I have concluded that this is a bad deal for one reason: It is unverifiable.
The final deal permits Iran to stonewall the International Atomic Energy Agency’s request for access to suspect sites for up to 24 days. There are no anytime, anywhere inspections — the deal envisions a long process of consultation, arbitration, and implementation. Twenty-four days is more than enough time for Iran to conceal any illicit activity. Iran can further delay the process because it would have the right to challenge a UN request to visit a site and would sit on the arbitration board that settles disputes on inspections.
Granting Iran the ability to manage access will severely undermine the IAEA’s ability to verify an agreement. Former IAEA deputy director Olli Heinonen has warned that inspections must not be subject
to a dispute resolution mechanism because it would hinder IAEA access. David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, has similarly argued that given Iran’s history of deceiving the international community and “abusing the consultation process with the inspectors,” a deal must ensure anytime, anywhere inspections.
The deal falls far short of that. The deal is bad for two other reasons:
1) The UN arms embargo, which bans Iran from exporting arms and importing major arms, will be lifted in five years, regardless of Iran’s behavior. The ban could be lifted earlier if the IAEA grants permission. This will facilitate Iran’s attempts to expand its support for terrorist proxies and other allies that destabilize the Middle East. Iran will also be able to acquire sophisticated weapons from
countries like Russia and China. At a recent Senate hearing, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Martin Dempsey testified that “[u]nder no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran relative to ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking.”
2) The deal ends the ban on ballistic missile trade in eight years, possibly earlier. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter testified about the threat Iran’s ICBMs pose to the United States,
stating, “The reason that we want to stop Iran from having an ICBM program is that the ‘I’ in ICBM stands for ‘intercontinental,’ which means having the capability of flying from Iran to the United States.”
The Iran deal stands to weaken U.S. national security, as well as the security of our allies. I cannot support it. I feel very let down.